From staff reports
Chronic wasting disease has been found in a new part of Idaho.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game announced Wednesday that a mule deer buck killed near New Meadows tested positive for CWD
CWD is an always-fatal condition affecting moose, elk and deer.
In a Facebook post, Idaho Fish and Game said it was the first known case outside of Unit 14 north of Riggins, where the disease was found in 2021. It was also the first positive case of the disease found during the 2023 hunting season.
The deer was killed in Unit 32A, about 7 miles south of New Meadows. Idaho Fish and Game is asking that all hunters who kill deer or elk in that unit and units 22, 23, 24 and 32 have their animals tested for the disease.
Hunters can do so by taking the heads of deer and elk to any Fish and Game office or extract the samples themselves.
Instructions for doing so are available at idfg.idaho.gov/cwd/sampling/how-to.
CWD has been found all over the country and in Canada, but has not been found in Washington.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has gathered more than 200 samples from hunters to test for the disease this year.
Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to decide on gray squirrel listing
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet this week to discuss a recommendation to increase protections for the western gray squirrel.
The commission will meet Friday to consider the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s recommendation to list the species as endangered.
Western gray squirrels are one of three native tree squirrel species in the state, according to WDFW. The species was once found from Pierce County south to Clark County, in the Columbia River gorge and along the eastern Cascade Mountains.
The species is threatened by disease, habitat loss, a small population size and deaths along roads, according to WDFW. The agency predicts a 20% decline in habitat for the squirrels in the North Cascades and Klickitat regions.
The commission will meet virtually. The meeting link and agenda are available at wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/meetings/2023/17nov2023-agenda.
Spokane Riverkeeper benefit planned for this week
The Spokane Riverkeeper’s annual Spoken River fundraiser is set for Thursday.
The event, set for 5:30 to 8 p.m. , is meant to celebrate stories of the river. It’s also a major fundraiser for the Riverkeeper, which works to protect and restore the Spokane River.
Eileen Delehanty Pearkes is the featured guest, according to an event listing. She has researched and traveled the Columbia River basin, and studied the river’s complex hydrological system.
The event will be held at the Montvale. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased at spokenriver.com.
All proceeds go to fund the organization’s programs.